With a playoff berth on the line Monday, Coppell sophomore goalie Veronika Orzolek picked the perfect time to have one of the best games of her high school soccer career.
Whether it was a diving save to slow a redirection off the foot of Flower Mound sophomore Jalen Chaney or an aggressive play made several yards away from the net, Orzolek was on her game. Orzolek made 11 saves to lift the Cowgirls to a 3-0 victory over the Lady Jaguars from Buddy Echols Field.
“She was unreal tonight,” said Craig Able, Coppell head coach. “She’s had a couple of games where she stood on her head and been unreal, and tonight was one of them. We couldn’t have asked her to come up any bigger than she did tonight.”
Aggressive plays like the one made in the second half against a charging Flower Mound player is a perfect example of the confidence that Orzolek plays with on a nightly basis. Orzolek’s play in goal combined with a stout defense is a big reason why Coppell has been stingy on that end of the pitch. The Cowgirls have given up just 28 goals in 21 games – an average of 1.4 goals per contest.
Coppell is likely destined for a playoff rematch with District 5-6A champion Allen in bi-district – a game won by the Lady Eagles last season, 3-1 – but there is one game remaining in the regular season in 6-6A. The Cowgirls travel to Clark Stadium next Monday for a matchup against Plano. Flower Mound hosts Plano West that same night.
In this week’s Star Local Media student-athlete profile, Orzolek chats about her performance in Monday’s win against Flower Mound, her dad’s positive influence on her soccer career and the potential for the Coppell girls soccer team over the next few seasons.
SLM: Congrats on helping to lead Coppell to the win over Flower Mound. You made a lot of timely saves. What was working so well for you?
VO: A lot of the saves that I made were just reactive to circumstances and figuring out when I need to come out and make a play. Sometimes it was a little nerve-racking because I had to figure out if I needed to come out or not in a certain situation, but a lot of it was just figuring out that game.
SLM: What was so good about Coppell’s overall performance against Flower Mound?
VO: We had a lot of good communication and were moving the ball around well, switching sides a lot. The main thing is that we trusted each other.
SLM: How would you compare your freshman season to your sophomore season?
VO: I’m definitely a lot more confident this season. Last season, I didn’t trust anybody on the team, which showed a lot in my play. I didn’t really want to come out a lot to challenge or talk to my team. Talking is a huge part about being a keeper and you’ve got to direct the back line because sometimes they don’t see everything that is going on, and you do. Being more confident coming into this season has really helped with my defensive part of the game.
SLM: Who are some people that you have trained with to help develop you into the soccer player that you are today?
VO: Definitely my dad. He’s worked a lot with me ever since I was little, whenever I started to become a goalie. He’s helped me train a lot. Whenever I go through a moment where mental strength is hard for me, he’s always there and is like, ‘You’ve got it. I’m so proud of you.’ He just reminds me that it’s all worth it. He keeps me mentally focused. He keeps me wanting to play soccer.
SLM: What are your first memories of playing soccer?
VO: Probably when I played for Coppell City. It was just really fun. I got to work with a lot of older girls and they taught me a lot. They taught me ‘Go for it, and to always play my best.’
SLM: What do you think about the potential of the Coppell girls soccer team over the next couple of years?
VO: We’re definitely going to lose some key players, but we’re definitely going to gain some good ones for the class of 2027. We have amazing soccer players that have come in this year. They’ve helped us, especially Neerali (Kapadia), who is a freshman. She will definitely be able to hold up the program as people leave because of graduation. She’s a great player.
Get the Coppell Gazette in your inbox!
Success! An email has been sent to with a link to confirm list signup.
Error! There was an error processing your request.
Post a comment as anonymous
Watch this discussion.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.